JULY 6: Williamson’s five-year, maximum-salary extension is now official. The Pelicans put out a press release confirming the signing after Zion put pen to paper at the Dryades YMCA in New Orleans today on his 22nd birthday (Twitter video link via ESPN’s Andrew Lopez).
“Zion is an astounding 22-year old talent, who we believe is just scratching the surface of what he is capable of, both on and off the floor,” Pelicans executive VP of basketball operations David Griffin said in a statement. “We are extremely pleased to take this next step of our collective journey together.”
Now that the deal is done, it should just be a matter of time before we learn what sort of protection language is included in the contract. Griffin did confirm today that the contract does not feature a fifth-year player option (Twitter link via Lopez).
JULY 2: Williamson and the Pelicans have now reached an agreement on a five-year, maximum-salary extension, agent Austin Brown tells Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).
Details on the protections included in the contract still haven’t been reported.
JULY 1: The Pelicans are nearing an agreement on a five-year rookie scale extension for forward Zion Williamson, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).
According to Charania, it’ll be a maximum-salary deal that can be worth up to $231MM. That indicates it will contain Rose Rule language allowing Williamson to qualify for a starting salary of 30% of the 2023/24 cap instead of 25% if he makes an All-NBA team next season.
Charania’s report doesn’t include any details on how much of the contract will be fully guaranteed, which figured to be the sticking point in negotiations. He does say (via Twitter) that the deal is expected to include some protections for the Pelicans and that the two sides were sorting through those details overnight.
We’ll have to wait for more specifics on that front, but it appears the two sides are on the verge of finding common ground fairly quickly after the former No. 1 overall pick officially became extension-eligible.
The agreement ends months of speculation that Williamson might turn down an extension offer from the Pelicans to play in a larger market or for a more successful franchise. Williamson has attempted on several occasions to quash those rumors by proclaiming a love for New Orleans, with his latest comments coming three weeks ago at his youth basketball camp.
Injuries have derailed Williamson’s career since he entered the NBA as a highly touted No. 1 pick in 2019. He missed all of this season after undergoing foot surgery and has played in a combined 85 games in three years. However, he has shown signs of being a dominant force, averaging 25.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game and making an All-Star appearance in 2021.
A healthy season from Williamson, who will turn 22 later this week, could make the Pelicans a serious Western Conference contender. New Orleans staged a late-season surge after trading for CJ McCollum, advancing through the play-in tournament and into the first round of the playoffs. Williamson could be a difference maker for an already talented roster, but he’ll have to prove that he can stay on the court.
Based on the NBA’s latest cap projection of $133MM for the 2023/24 season, Williamson’s deal would be worth $231.42MM if he meets the Rose Rule criteria next season, or $192.85MM if he doesn’t. That’s without considering any protections that might be included in the contract.
51 thoughts on “Pelicans Sign Zion Williamson To Five-Year Max Extension”
Step one in preparation of a trade?
Trading him or Brandon Ingram? If KD’s willing to go to New Orleans, that could be a landing spot for him.
Get that $ my boy!.. they really gonna hate this lol
That’ll buy a lot of food. He’s hyped
lol this has to be the worst time of yr for guys like you. Seeing guys like Zion get $231M right after he just made $44M on his 1st contract, plus another $75M from Nike… start adding them #s up, don’t it just make your blood boil lol.. he’s 21 btw
Nothing makes my blood boil more than a couple quarter pounders with cheese and a 20 piece McNugget
It’s ok if Joe Flacco goes all out at McDonalds to feed his 350lb lineman. Zion wants a snack in between his 2nd lunch and supper and everyone starts the body shaming. Smh
Have you seen grocery prices recently? It won’t buy THAT much food.
I would deal him to the Nets if KD were available to them. Hell I’d send him to OKC if I could get a haul or NYK, which has 8 1sts avail to trade.
They really had no choice but to max him out. That said, if any contract is going to come back to bite a team in the butt, it’s going to be this one.
Does this prevent him from being traded for KD? Not sure if there is like a time he can’t be traded because of signing an extension..
The best scenario for the Nets is Zion. Nobody else has a better package. Ayton and Bridges isn’t nearly as attractive as Zion. NO has to do the deal for KD in that scenario because that makes them instant contenders with a loaded team. Given NO has only won two playoff series in their existence the past 20 years, I feel it would have to be overwhelmingly tempting to contend for 2-3 years rather than gamble on a young player that just sat out an entire year and there is major concerns over his body. NO becomes a contender and Zion gets his wish of being a young star in New York. Zion, Kyrie, maybe Simmons, and a bunch of good shooters is also a possibly really good team, even though obviously quite risky.
He could buy his weight in jambalaya and beignets with this money
Which of these traits would you use to best describe Sankara? (Rank if possible)
Falsely entitled, condescending, rude, stuck up, homeristic, wrong, annoying, abusive, commited, sociopathic
For whatever reason he is the ONLY person that the mute button doesn’t work on for this app. I’ve muted his DA like 100 times.
Reading his post lead me write a reply that was three paragraphs long. Last time I tried that, to talk sense, the whole thread was deleted by moderators.
So sorry to see that kind of angle coming from someone. I just want to sit down and talk with them and help them see the world a little differently from perhaps what they’ve experienced personally.
Yes there’s tragedy out there but come on, there’s so much good out there as well. I just hope for the best in situations such as those… It makes me sad too though to see the blinders of bitterness.
No not the only one. Doesn’t seem to work on El Don either.
Annoying. Mute button works well tho
Lol at least he’s consistent despite nobody responding to his random ‘rank if possible’ posts. Maybe a little too racial but I’ll hear him out. Remember, every time you mute or block someone you lose a chance to learn something.
Before I muted Sankara I learned that Sankara is the smartest guy that Sankara knows and before I muted Sillivan I learned he’s a moron who talks in riddles and makes absolutely no sense.
This makes sense to me. Zion had a great season last year and the Pels finally made it back to the playoffs, mostly because of him.
What are you talking about? Zion didn’t play last year so how he help them reach the playoffs?
I always love these comments.
As an addendum, what about Zion’s one season worth of games played (85) in his first three seasons in the Association make you think it’s not prudent to offer him a max extension?
@j27: Sarcasm: the caustic use of words, often in a humorous way, to mock someone or something. Sarcasm may employ ambivalence, although it is not necessarily ironic.
Ugh. That should have been directed at @Razpy. I suck.
I think it’s the beignets, keep him out of the quarter.
I bought a 78 K5 Blazer once because it looked cool all lifted up on 44s and spent a bunch of money trying to keep it running before I eventually abandoned it on the side of the freeway.
This contract won’t age well and I won’t be the least bit shocked if it’s deemed an albatross before next year’s FA even starts
Either going to turn out fine or be a disaster. I’m leaning toward the latter. Besides the injury concerns, the moment Zion loses a step—not unlikely given all the injuries—he will lose significant value. He’s a one-trick pony value wise.
The Pelicans just backed up the Dorito truck and paid him
Said is since day 1, Oliver Miller 2.0
5 years? Should be ready to play year 3. Barring setbacks or the need for a mental health break .
Zion is rumored to be shopping for HOSPITALS
Crazy to think he got a bigger deal than Ja Morant.
Ja who was just outside the conversation for MVP chat, made all star selection, made All NBA second team, won the most improved player, just lead his side to the second seed and had a strong playoff push with.
That’s wild fat boy Zion got more money than him just for dunking the ball at trainings and eating loads of food
Hope they added a workout and weight clause
Greg Oden 2.0
Lol ridiculous comments
finally got a real contract. doesn’t have to worry about future earnings anymore. time to put on a show.
Hehe the first and real show that needs to happen, Zion needs to SHOW that he’s fit to play the sport …….. basically show that he’s not fat.
This makes no since. They won’t max Ayton or Brunson, but Zion does.
Brunson got more than he deserves but I am happy for him.
I’d be happy if he’s really good next season but just not good enough for an all nba team to prevent the rose rules to kick in like with Tatum.
What for you wanna be cheap with Zion?
Be cheap with the bad players, but give everything to the really great ones!
Just got word that Zion will be out for the next 6-8 months ……. apparently, Zion broke a collar bone trying to reach for something at the Golden Corral Buffet & Grill.
This has to be leading toward a trade for KD..I’m guessing 3 way with the Lakers with Russ and Irving involved..
Hope it includes a CHEF …….. peace